Tired of same old turkey on your holiday table? How does a whole roasted leg of lamb with risotto sound as an alternative? The holiday menu prepared by Peter Cumplido, Executive Chef, Hotel Madeline, Mountain Village, also includes a baby spinach salad with cranberry vinaigrette, fresh figs, shaved prosciutto and ash goat cheese, and a festive seasonal dessert. Sounds delicious, but daunting. Not to worry.

On Saturday, December 17, 3 p.m., Peter and his sous chef Cory Sargent are co-hosting a holiday cooking class.

Peter Cumplido was born and raised in Las Vegas. He began his professional career at the age of 16 in the Prestige Bellagio Hotel and Casino. With no formal culinary training, Peter climbed the ladder in the kitchens of Mandalay Bay, The Venetian, Border Grill, ultimately ascending to Sous Chef at the legendary Alizé, a French restaurant with a coveted Michelin Star. During his stint at Alizé, Peter studied under Jacques Van Staden, who became his mentor. He went on to run a five-star/five-diamond restaurant in Miami before accepting a job as lead chef consultant at the world-renown consulting firm, Elizabeth Blau & Associates, where clients included Wynn Resorts, Plaza Hotel, Mohegan Sun, Celebrity Cruises, and Destination Resorts. Peter now co-owns several South Beach, Florida, restaurants and runs the kitchen at Hotel Madelaine.

Cory Sargent, Executive Sous Chef, holds degrees in environmental engineering and culinary arts. After working at the Marriott Hotel in Cherry Creek, he spent a year in Asia cooking and traveling. When Cory returned to the U.S., he moved to Telluride and become head chef at the Excelsior Cafe, a position he held for two years before joining Hotel Madelaine in February 2011.

Telluride Inside… and Out sampled Peter’s and Cory’s goods Jingle Jam eve, the very first night M’s at Hotel Madeline opened. Overall, our meal was inventive yet unfussy. Our main course, a lamb dish (see menu above) was comfort food with attitude, the emphasis on savory elegance.

The cooking class is FREE, but space is limited, so contact Amber Wilkerson, or call 970-369-8972. And for a romantic fine dining experience in a cushy setting and attentive (but not cloying) service, we recommend checking out M’s.

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